The band Asia might be best known as a “super group” of the second generation prog rock bands. Asia was a synthesis of key players from Yes, King Crimson, and Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. Bassist John Wetton was looking to collaborate with some of the key progressive rock players in a new project since the 1974 breakup of King Crimson. It took seven years, however, for a lineup to gel and the band Asia began to fall into place in 1981.
Steve Howe, the guitarist from the classic version of Yes, was brought in along with a more recent Yes alumnus, keyboardist – Geoff Downes. While Asia would be enjoying the fruit of their labor, Downes was also participating in the production of Yes’ 90125 album – a masterpiece in itself. After the collapse of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, drummer extraordinaire, Carl Palmer was also added to the group.
Initially, John Fleischman who had performed with Journey was selected to be the lead vocalist, but he bowed out because he felt that Wetton actually had the better voice. The band was signed to Geffen and their self-titled debut album was a colossal success. The album remained in the #1 slot for nine weeks and was a quadruple platinum release in the US.
A total of six songs from “Asia” were pushed to radio, but only three singles proper were issued: “Heat of the Moment,” “Only Time Will Tell,” and “Sole Survivor.” “Sole Survivor,” while not a Top 40 hit, charted at #10 on album radio and its “B” side, “Here Comes the Feeling,” peaked on AOR radio at #40. This classic Asia tune not only serves as our tribute to Geffen Records, it is our Friday Flipside as well. Enjoy.